16 Jul Lacor Hospital -Maternity and Midwives
Sharon and I were excited to visit the new maternity ward at Lacor Hospital. The new facilities are clean, spacious, and house double the number of beds as the previous ward. This is crucial as lack of beds forced mothers to deliver on the floor. Angelina, a new midwife who graduated from Lacor, gave us our tour.
The expectant mother’s journey begins in the reception area where they begin the check-in process. A midwife monitors her progress in the examination room. There are latent rooms where the women remain until they are ready to give birth (latent is Latin for “to wait.”) A private wing is available for patients who have the resources to pay. A new addition of an ultrasound room keeps things moving at a fast pace. In the past, doctors moved patients to radiology to use the machine. This resulted in long wait times.
There are two labor rooms for deliveries each consisting of four beds and a new surgical area for cesarian sections. An isolation ward is available for patients with sepsis. Mothers leave the hospital 24 hours after delivering. There are two rooms for cesarian section patients who remain in the hospital for four to five days.
The neonatal room is for babies born under five pounds. Angelina reported that a baby was once born at 1.3 pounds and survived because he received exceptional care. There are anywhere between 3 and 40 babies in the neonatal unit at a time. Babies receive IV fluids and asphyxiation treatment when needed. Mothers remain with their babies at all times while in the neonatal room. Staff train them to feed and change the babies.
Your donation helps provide the salaries for midwives at Lacor. Midwives are in charge of the maternity ward, and there are at least four on staff at all times. One is in reception to receive patients, communicate with the on-call doctor, and assist in cesarian section deliveries. Two midwives remain inside the labor suite at all times. They monitor the progression of labor, assist in delivering the babies, monitor any complications of both mother and child, and help initiate breast feeding. The final midwife is in the post-partum ward where she monitors mothers after birth and attends to any complications.
Not only are midwives essential in the birth process, but they play a key role in reducing the infant and maternal mortality rate. Pre-natal appointments are necessary to keep both mother and baby healthy. When mothers come for appointments during pregnancy, it is the role of the midwife to build a strong relationship with the mother so that the mother feels safe and comfortable to share when she is having an issue in her pregnancy. Midwives screen for HIV to help prevent the transfer to baby. Blood pressure is monitored for preeclampsia, and health education is given in preparation for delivery.